Adayar could make quick return to track in Qipco Champion Stakes

Ground conditions at Ascot set to suit Charlie Appleby’s Derby and King George hero

The all-conquering Godolphin team could give Adayar a chance to end the year on a high in Saturday’s Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

The Derby and King George hero faltered in heavy ground conditions in last week’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe when fourth to the shock 80-1 winner Torquator Tasso.

With ground conditions forecast to be significantly better for British Champions Day the option of a quick reappearance for Adayar is being kept open by trainer Charlie Appleby.

“He will be left in the Champion Stakes tomorrow [Monday] for the simple reason at the moment he has come out of the Arc well.


“Should connections ask me next week how the horse is, and I say ‘jumping around’, and they say ‘where can we go?’ I’d look a bit daft saying I’d taken him out of the Champion Stakes on the Monday.

“He will stay in tomorrow. We’ve an open book and should connections want to run him again, and I can’t at that time give a negative for not to run him, then the Champion Stakes will be looked at,” Appleby reported on Sunday.

Just one Derby winner in the last 53 years – New Approach in 2008 – has gone on to win the Champion Stakes and Saturday’s highlight could see Adayar renew rivalry with the older star, Mishriff.

The pair clashed in the King George at the height of the summer when Adayar emerged on top by a length and three quarters.

Since then Mishriff has secured wide-margin success in the Juddmonte International at York and is likely to be favoured over the same mile and a quarter tip at Ascot.

Appleby and Godolphin put themselves in prime position for next year’s Classics by dominating Saturday’s action at Newmarket.

Native Trail put himself in contention for champion two-year-old honours by maintaining his unbeaten record in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes although Appleby’s belief is that the Group Three Autumn Stakes winner Coroebus could be a better 2,000 Guineas candidate next Spring.

“You cannot fault what Native Trail has done – he’s four out of four – but I do like Coroebus, as I think he’s a supreme traveller.

“In the Classics, the one thing you have got to be able to do is travel and that’s what Coroebus does in abundance.

“He has so much cruising speed that it wouldn’t have mattered how quick they went today, they would never take him off the bridle.”

“I’m just delighted to have these two horses for myself and all the team. We look forward to next year,” he said.

In contrast it was a frustrating weekend for Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle operation which failed to hit the mark in three US Grade One contests on Saturday night.

Empress Josephine finished a place ahead of Appleby’s Althiqa when third to Blowout in the First Lady Stakes at Keeneland.

However, the Breeders’ Cup winner Order of Australia ran a shocker on his return to Keeneland when last in the Turf Mile. Japan also failed to make the frame in the Turf Classic at Belmont won by Rockemperor.